Put your nose to the test with this scent matching activity! Our sense of smell is called olfaction, and it can help children make connections with their surroundings. By using their sense of smell, kids can investigate and distinguish between different objects and materials.
- Three or four objects with pungent smells. Some examples include: pickles, your child’s shampoo or toothpaste, orange peel, bananas, coffee grounds
- Jars, glasses, or plastic cups
- Plastic wrap
- Blindfold or scarf
- Labels (optional)
- Before you get started, talk about smells. What are some strong smells you can name? What are some of your favorite and least favorite smells? Do different places have different smells?
- Play a smell matching game. The objective is to smell each jar while blindfolded and then match the two jars that have the same smell. Place the jars in two rows. In the first row, add one object to each jar. Repeat this process with the jars in the second row.
- Cover each jar with plastic wrap and puncture a few holes in the top with your pencil. Mix up all the jars so that you don’t know which is which.
- Put a blindfold on your child and ask them to pick up and smell each jar. When they find two that match, set them aside until they have matched all the smells. Try to match the same set of smells together.
- Try it again with different scents!
This craft comes to you from the creators of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!
Iowa PBS STEAM Activities and Crafts provided by PBS KIDS Parents.